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by Joanna Cole
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0590446819, Paperback)Ms. Frizzle, science teacher extraordinaire (in the tremendously popular Magic School Bus series by Joanna Cole and illustrator Bruce Degen), parachutes into social studies in the first of the new series from the same creative pair. On the first day of school vacation, the inimitable, redheaded Ms. Frizzle joins a tour group bound for Egypt. When the plane trip gets too monotonous, Ms. Frizzle invites the group to jump ship with her. Somehow, tour guide Herb ends up in contemporary Cairo, while everyone else lands in ancient Egypt! Here's where Ms. Frizzle's teaching skills come in handy. By the end of the vacation, members of the tour group--and readers--have learned more about mummies, pyramids, Re the sun god, and ancient Egyptian's teeth than they ever imagined.
With their familiar blend of information sharing and humor, Cole and Degen present what might in any other format be an overwhelming amount of information in a lively, entertaining, easy-to-absorb style. Full-color cartoon-style text and illustrations allow readers to explore Egypt even as Ms. Frizzle and her inadvertent students do the same. Witty asides take the shape of travel diaries, postcards home, and messages on Herb's megaphone ("I'm the tour guide!", "Help! I lost my tour group!"). Ms. Frizzle's sly pretended ignorance at times also makes for high hilarity. "I can't imagine how that happened. Can you?" she says, after the airplane door somehow swings open. If only all education was this much fun! (Ages 5 to 8) --Emilie Coulter
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:48 -0400)
Ms. Frizzle and her tour group are transported to ancient Egypt, where they learn about the pyramids, mummification, flooding of the Nile, and other aspects of life in Egypt long ago.
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